Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes mortality and disability worldwide. It can initiate acute cell death followed by secondary injury induced by microglial activation, oxidative stress, inflammation and autophagy in brain tissue, resulting in cognitive and behavioral deficits. We evaluated a new pomalidomide (Pom) analog, 3,6’-dithioPom (DP), and Pom as immunomodulatory agents to mitigate TBI-induced cell death, neuroinflammation, astrogliosis and behavioral impairments in rats challenged with controlled cortical impact TBI. Both agents significantly reduced the injury contusion volume and degenerating neuron number evaluated histochemically and by MRI at 24 hr and 7 days, with a therapeutic window of 5 hr post-injury. TBI-induced upregulated markers of microglial activation, astrogliosis and the expression of proinflammatory cytokines, iNOS, COX-2, and autophagy-associated proteins were suppressed, leading to an amelioration of behavioral deficits with DP providing greater potency. Complementary animal and cellular studies demonstrated DP and Pom mediated reductions in markers of neuroinflammation and α-synuclein-induced toxicity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)